Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge and Geibikei (Geibi) Gorge Area
Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge Area [Also Japanese locally called Genbikei (厳美渓/ Genbi Gorge)]
The dance of emerald sprays... A beautiful valley refined since time begin. Hot Spring and History Crossing - Sendai feudal lord Date ("Dah-tay") Masamune used to boast, "Matsushima and Genbikei/ Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge" are two great places of scenic beauty and he visited Gembi/ Genbi Gorge on numerous occasions. Have a fun and relaxing time at this site that fascinated Lord Masamune, along with hot spring, tourist carriage, rest area, the museum.. made it nationally-designated Place of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument in Genbicho, Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
Flowing from its source at Mt. Kurikoma, the Iwai River heads towards downtown Ichinoseki, carving out the Gembi Gorge. Visitors are fascinated by the 2 km stretch of dynamic scenery featuring strangely shaped rocks, mysterious crags, ravines, river potholes and waterfalls. The bare rock polished by the perpetual flow of water and the emerald green river, as well as the beautiful scenery along the riverbanks where the colors of the seasons play, have been designated a national natural monument.
One of the Gembi Gorge's charms is the change in scenery one can enjoy, from the rough current that slams great sheets of spray against the rocks upstream, to the calm valley downstream. An impressive world with rows of strangely shaped rocks capped by pure white snow comes alive in mid-winter. After taking in the art that Mother Nature interweaves so skillfully, try putting money into the Iwaba Basket. A basket on a rope will fly in from the opposite shore, bringing you Flying Dumplings, a Gembi Gorge specialty.
Sand and pebbles flow into crevices in large rocks, where the current swirls and gradually bores out the bedrocks into a spherical shape and creates a round hole.
These "Edohigan" cherry blossom trees are said to have been planted by Lord Date ("Dah-tay") Masamune, the Sendai feudal lord who loved the Gembi Gorge and visited it on many occasions. The name "Edohigan" comes from Masamune's alias.
Gembi Gorge Rest Area
This rest area is along National Road 342, which continues on to Gembi Gorge and Ichinoseki Hot Spring Village. In addition to the farmer's market where shoppers can get plenty of handicrafts and fresh fish and produce, visitors can see Ichinoseld's food culture at the Rice Cake Exhibition Hall, and can enjoy genuine rice cake cuisine at a restaurant. Right next door at the Ichinoseki City Museum, visitors can study the past of the city's people and the history of Ichinoseki.
Gembi Tourist Carriages
It is recommended a leisurely stroll rolling along in a horse-drawn carriage in scenic Gembi Gorge. Carriages operate from April to October. 800 yen for adults, 500 yen for children.
Sahara Glass Park
The colorful building next to the Gembi Gorge houses 10,000 pieces of glass-work from around the world. Visitors can buy items on display, join glassblowing workshops and make original pieces.
Gembi Gorge Dumplings
You'll never forget the joy of eating these incredibly unique dumplings — a local specialty on your trip. There are many dango shops, but the most famous is the Kakko-ya, established in 1878, and its Kakko Dango, also known as the “Flying Dango.” You put money in a basket hanging on a cable stretched across the river and knock on a board to signal the store on the other side of the river; the basket is then pulled up to the store, and comes back flying across the river with dango and tea inside. Three types of dango are available: an (red bean), goma (sesame), and mitarashi (sweet soy sauce syrup).
Ichinoseki City Museum
This museum introduces the history and regional characteristics of Ichinoseki, as well as the past exploits of the area's people. Design and themed exhibits, lectures, hands-on activities and other fascinating events are held at the museum, along with the five regular themed exhibits.
Kurikoma Quasi National Park Nature Research Path
The upper reaches of the highlands surrounding Mt. Kurikomayama are marked by a volcanic landscape and ponds. Hikers and nature lovers climb trails leading from Iwate, Akita, and Miyagi Prefectures to enjoy the dramatic views and colonies of gentians.
Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge Onsen (Hot Springs Spa)
There are several Onsen (Hot Springs Spa) Rakuten Hotel at Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge. There is an excellent view of Gembikei Gorge from this hot spring; 20 min. by bus from Ichinoseki Station. More details: Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge Onsen (Hot Springs Spa) Rakuten Hotels
Polano Gelato Ice Cream
Served with milk for a local flavor and fresh taste in 20 varieties that change every season. This fresh-tasting ice cream is popular with the locals, too.
Access from Ichinoseki Station to Genbikei/ Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge
From Ichinoseki Station on the JR Tohoku Shinkansen Line: Take the bus bound for Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge Area.
Car: approx. 10 km, 20min. (via National Roads 284,4 and 342)
Bus: approx. 10km, 20min. (Buses come about every 40 minutes)
Access from the Ichinoseki IC to Genbikei/ Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge
Car: approx, 5 km, 8 min. (via National Road 342).
Location and Contact:
Genbikei (Genbi) Gorge/ Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge
Minamitakinoue, Genbi-cho (Genbi village), Ichinoseki-shi (Ichinoseki City), Higashiiwai district (Higashiiwai-gun), Iwate Prefecture (Iwate-ken) 021-0101, Japan [Geo Coordinate: 38.944286599999998, 141.0452186]
Note: January 1, 1955 - The city of Ichinoseki (1st generation) merged with the villages of Genbi, Hagisho, Maikawa, and Yasakae to form the new city of Ichinoseki (2nd generation).
Ichinoseki Commerce and Tourism Division at Genbi-cho (Genbi village)
Genbikei (Genbi) Gorge/ Gembikei (Gembi) Gorge Rest House
132, Konosu, Genbi-cho (Genbi village), Ichinoseki-shi (Ichinoseki City), Higashiiwai district (Higashiiwai-gun), Iwate Prefecture (Iwate-ken) 021-0101, Japan [Geo Coordinate: 38.943610999999997,141.048361]
Geibi (Geibikei) Gorge Area
Geibi (Geibikei) Gorge Area - An elegant scenery in every season: lush greenery, panoply of flowers, autumn leaves and snowy landscapes. Geibikei Gorge offers a wonderful contrast between the soaring cliffs on either side and the calm, clear water that passes between them, made it a a nationally-designated Place of Scenic Beauty in Higashiyama, Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. In 1927 Geibikei was selected as one of the 100 Landscapes of Japan. Come see the clear sky, bare rock and river fish on a beautiful, fine day!
Counted among one of the 100 famous views of Japan, the 2 km Geibi (Geibikei/ 猊鼻渓) Gorge was carved out of limestone by the Satetsu River. Steep cliffs stretching over 100 meters high tower along the riverside in this fantastic mountain valley designated a national place of scenic beauty.
Geibi (Geibikei) Gorge is known for the boatmen that skillfully navigate their vessels using but a single pole. Listening to the stimulating sounds echoing from the bare rock of the Geibi Oiwakc, one can find something to enjoy in every season: the wisterias, gold-banded lilies and geibisekisho blooming in spring, brilliant autumn leaves, and fish jumping from the surface of the river. Also, in winter when the snow falls there is the kotatsu boat, the perfect way to protect yourself from the cold by tasting steaming hot kinagashi nabe. The scenery will be etched into your mind as though you have been thrown into the scene of an India ink painting. A round trip on the boat takes 90 minutes.
Kenji Miyazawa and Higashiyama
Kenji Miyazawa worked as an engineer at the Tohoku Stone Crushing Factory during his later years. In 1929, the factory's founder, Tozo Suzuki, visited Kenji as he was bedridden. Kenji ordered him to make agricultural lime from calcium carbonate. In 1931 Kenji became an engineer and helped to expand the market, though seven months later he became ill. He continued his plans for fertilizer from his sickbed, but he passed away in September 1933. Today the factory is open to the general public and is registered as a national tangible cultural property. There is also the Gunzo Plaza next to the factory, where there is a commemorative picture from March 26,1931. The mark left by Kenji and his colleagues remain.
Museum of Stones and Kenji/ Former Tohoku Stone Crushing Factory House of Sun and Wind
This museum displays Kenji Miyazawa's way of thinking and living. In search of "happiness for all "he was an engineer who worked to create a Utopia. Mementos ""such as letters and photographs detail his life until he wrote the poem "Ame ni mo makezu."The Former Tohoku Stone Crushing Factory, the impetus for Kenji's visit to Tozan, is also located here.
Tozan Washi Japanese Paper Kamisukikan
The technique here, inherited from the culture of the Hiraizumi Fujiwara clan, has been passed down over 800 years.
This natural museum is a limestone cavern with a geologic history of 350 million years. The white stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones contrast mysteriously with the emerald green subterranean lake.
Mrs. Kanko's Grave
Madame Kanko, wife to Lord Sugawara no Michizane, came inland when her husband was relegated to Kyushu's Dazaifu. The remains of her grave in Takozuazakodama, where it has been long preserved by the local people.
Roofed Pleasure Boats in Winter
Winter in Geibi Gorge is an India ink painting. From December to February you can enjoy local specialties and kinagashi nabe on the kotatsu boat.
Recently there are also women navigating the boats. Forget your busy daily life and come have a relaxing time. May is popular for wisterias, and October for the autumn leaves. Even in busy periods you can thoroughly enjoy a quiet boat ride in the early morning or evening. And the winter scenery from the kotatsu boat is exceptional. Have some miso kinagashi nabe (reservation required) and alcohol with the picturesque scenery.
Grilled & Salted Ayu
Try some grilled and salted ayu on your boat ride. Enjoying the view and the full flavor of nature just can't be beat.
Brain Candy - Easterly Spring Breeze
The candy of Madame Sugawara no Michizane, wife of an ancient scholar. Lick it just once to obtain a piece of knowledge.
Transport Links from Ichinoseki to Geibi (Geibikei) Gorge
Car: approx. 15 km, 30 min. (via Pref. Road 19)
Bus: approx. 40 min. (Iwate Prefecture Transport)
Train: approx. 30 min. (JR Ofunato Line)
Transport Links from the Ichinoseki I.C. Geibi (Geibikei) Gorge
Car: approx. 18 km, 25 min. (via Nat'l Rd. 342 and Pref. Rd. 19) To Ichinoseki Station / Ichinoseki I.C.
Location and Contact:
Geibi (Geibikei) Gorge
Machi, Nagasaka, Higashiyama town(Higashiyama-cho), Ichinoseki-shi (Ichinoseki City), Iwate Prefecture (Iwate-ken) 029-0302, Japan [Geo Coordinate: 38.989966099999997, 141.2508727]
Note: On September 20, 2005 Higashiyama, along with the towns of Daito and Senmaya, the villages of Kawasaki and Murone, all from Higashiiwai District, and the town of Hanaizumi, from Nishiiwai District, was merged into the expanded city of Ichinoseki.
Geibi (Geibikei) Tourist Information Center
GEIBI Sightseeing group
Machi375, Nagasaka, Higashiyamacho, Ichinoseki-shi (Ichinoseki City), Iwate Prefecture (Iwate-ken) 029-0302, Japan [Latitude: 38.991515, Longitude: 141.254402]
Website: http://www.geibikei.co.jp/ (Japanese)
Tourist Attractions and Accommodation Link Nearby Geibi (Geibikei) Gorge
- Hiraizumi World Heritage Site - 35 minutes by car from the valley
- Sahara Glass Park - 40 minutes by car from River Genbi-kei (Geibikei)
- Iwate Higashiyama Yugendo (Yugendo Cave) - 4 minutes by car from the valley Geibi
- Hanatoizumi Flower World - 45 minutes by car from the valley Geibi
- Fujiwara Heritage Park (Esashi Fujiwara-No-Sato) - 45 minutes by car from the valley Geibi
- Tategamori Ark Farm - 45 minutes by car from the valley Geibi
- Iwate Safari Park - 45 minutes by car from the valley Geibi
- Tategamori Kogen Hotel - 45 minutes by car from the valley
- Hotel Genbikei-Onsen Itsukushien - 30-minute drive from the Geibikei valley fountain
- Hotel Kanyo (Abecho Group) - 60 minutes by car from the Genbi-kei (Geibikei) River
- Musashibo Onsen Hotel- 30 minutes by car from the Geibi valley
- Higashiyama Kanko Hotel (GEIBI Rest House) - 5-minute walk from Genbi-kei (Geibikei)
- Oosawa Onsen (Minami-Hanamaki Spa Resort) - 30 min. by bus from JR Hanamaki Sta. and 80 minutes by car from the Genbi-kei valley